i1 Supercar Series: Indian driver Zaamin Jaffer confirmed in star-studded line up for new racing series
Mumbai born racing driver Zaamin Jaffer has been confirmed as one of India’s leading competitors for the brand new i1 Super Series which will blast into action early in the New Year with a star-studded entry list – headed by none other than 1997 FIA Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve.
Beginning an exciting new chapter in Zaamin’s young career, his participation in the i1 Super Series will mark the 21-year-old’s first experience of racing sportscars; the category featuring 18 identical Radical SR3 racers. Nine teams, each representing a different Indian city ‘franchise’ will field two cars and the mouth-watering prize purse of two million US dollars has attracted some major names.
Joining the Indian ace on the entry list for the opening round at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia on 21st/22nd January will be several ex-Formula One stars including Villeneuve, Jean Alesi, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mika Salo, Giancarlo Fisichella and Vitantonio Liuzzi.
The new championship was officially launched during a specially organised event at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi on Monday, 19th December, where Zaamin was named as one of nine ‘Indian International’ class drivers. In addition, there are two further classes – one for non-Indian racers with International experience and another for less experienced racers from the sub-continent.
On Tuesday, 20th December, competitors had their first taste of the Radical SR3 which will be utilised in the five-event championship during a brief 20-minute test at Yas Marina South Circuit. Immediately proving his worth, Zaamin – who has most recently been winning races in the Dubai-based Formula Gulf 1000 Championship – lapped within just 0.6 seconds of outright pace-setter Frentzen.
Posting a best time of 1m01.153 seconds, the talented rising star of Indian motorsport broke into the top 10 overall just 0.3 seconds shy of Liuzzi and ahead of vastly experienced international racers such as Salo, Alex Yoong and Sakon Yamamoto.
“We’ve been working really hard to try and be involved in the first season of the i1 Super Series so I’m absolutely delighted to have been announced as one of the Indian drivers”, said Zaamin, “I can’t wait for the first race, it’s going to be incredible competing on track with so many top drivers and it’ll be the highlight of my career so far for sure.
“The championship has been eagerly awaited for a long time and it’s going to be massive for Indian motorsport, it’s really exciting to be part of it from the inception and a huge opportunity. Having an F1 Champion like Villeneuve and Grand Prix winners like Frentzen and Alesi involved is fantastic. The first test went really well – to have been faster than someone like Mika Salo is a great feeling.”
Following the opening event in Malaysia in late January, round two will take place in the Gulf state of Bahrain on 3rd/4th February with round three scheduled for a week later, 10th/11th February, at Losail in Qatar. The ‘home’ event for the i1 Super Series will take place on 25th/26th February at the Buddh International Circuit in New Delhi with the finale set for 9th/10th March at Yas Marina in the UAE.
Team line-ups are expected to be confirmed early in the New Year – for more information visit the official championship website www.i1superseries.com